Ahead of its full implementation at the end of 2022, Glasgow Taxis are preparing for the city's Low Emission Zone, as they get behind a pilot scheme to make visible to the public which of their vehicles are already LEZ emissions compliant.
Brightly coloured signage, affixed to the interior screen or side window, highlights that the taxi meets the applicable emission standard that Glasgow expects to set for vehicles travelling into the city centre LEZ.
Introduced in December 2018 to reduce emissions and protect public health, Glasgow's LEZ is Scotland's first, and is modelled to reduce levels of harmful air pollution from road traffic. Only buses are affected just now, however all vehicles will have to meet the cleaner emission standards from 31 December 2022.
The council has engaged widely with the taxi trade to raise awareness and knowledge of the LEZ. Licensing policies have also been reviewed to ensure that operators are supported to achieve compliance. This interaction forms part of a wider programme of engagement and events to prepare businesses and individuals, ahead of the LEZ expanding in scope to include all vehicles.
Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction said: "We are determined to clean up Glasgow's air and ensure our city centre is a healthier and more pleasant place to be. Our Low Emission Zone complements many of our projects and initiatives that aim to improve air quality, including those which encourage a shift toward active and sustainable travel. It's clear that Glasgow Taxis share our commitment to improving the city's air quality and by highlighting LEZ compliance in this very visible way, they are also helping us raise awareness ahead of full implementation at the end of 2022."
Councillor Alex Wilson, Chair of the Licensing and Regulatory Committee said: "We fully acknowledge the impact that meeting the new emission requirements will have for operators, and we have worked closely with the trade to keep them up to speed on developments. I'm delighted that Glasgow Taxis are piloting the compliant sticker scheme and look forward to seeing 'LEZ Ready' stickers on those taxis which already meet the strict, cleaner emissions requirements of Glasgow's LEZ."
Glasgow Taxis Ltd Chairman Dougie McPherson said: "Glasgow Taxis is fully committed to supporting the city's Low Emission Zone which will help reduce levels of pollution and protect the health of the public. As the city's friend, Glasgow Taxis believes that true partnership working can instigate positive change and powerful outcomes. This latest initiative to address a challenging issue is another great example of that and again shows Glasgow to be at the forefront of the drive towards more efficient, friendly and sustainable travel."
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: "Scotland's Low Emission Zones aim to protect public health by improving air quality in our city centres. We understand, however, that compliance with the proposed emission standards can be a financial burden for taxi operators. That's why we have made £1m available this year to provide grants for vehicle retrofitting. Every taxi journey is potentially another vehicle not travelling into our city centres and so our taxi industry, as a shared transport option, is an important part of the solution to our air quality challenges that we will continue to support."
The emission standards for Glasgow's LEZ are expected to be:
Euro 4 for petrol cars, vans, minibuses and other specialist vehicles
Euro 6 for diesel cars, vans and minibuses and other specialist vehicles
Euro VI for lorries, buses and coaches and other specialist heavy diesel engine vehicles
Check out Transport Scotland's online checker to see if your vehicle is likely to comply and read our frequently asked questions which provides information on what the expected emission standards are, potential exemptions and the availability of funding assistance.